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We shouldn’t dilute the power of PIL

The new Chief Justice of India, Justice S.H. Kapadia has started his job well by declaring that the Supreme Court will not hesitate to impose heavy penalty on those who file frivolous lawsuits with a personal interest in the guise of public interest litigations (PIL). With Indian courts already stretched with a mounting number of pending cases, frivolous litigations must be discouraged.

If one agrees with the universal legal dictum, “Justice delayed is justice denied”, then people in India can hardly ever find true “justice” with most litigation dragging on for years and even decades with overburdened courtrooms across the country. A fast and more efficient justice delivery system would, undoubtedly, be a welcome change for thousands of distraught justice-seekers in India.

However, our justices must not underrate the power of PIL, especially for a developing country like India where corruption is rampant at almost every aspect of public services and where a large fraction of the population is still illiterate and impoverished. Much of the positive changes against a vast array of social injustices have come through PILs in recent years.

PILs have also often acted as a vital impetus in forming new laws by the elected representatives. The Right to Information (RTI) Act that became a law in 2005 is a glaring example how major social changes can be implemented through useful PILs. It would be unfortunate if well-minded social reformers are dissuaded from filing munificent PILs because of the threat of heavy costs from the judiciary.

KUNAL SAHA, Columbus (USA)

Uncle judges

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily’s idea of taking an undertaking from judges at the time of their elevation that they will not function in a court where any of their relatives do practice is timely and must be put into practice immediately. (Editorial, “‘Uncle judges” to go: Kith-and-kin shadow on justice”, May 12). This step will not only uphold judicial propriety but also be in sync with the latest report of the Law Commission of India.

There are many instances where a relative lawyer of a sitting judge has gained prominence in a short time. As observed by the Law Commission, an advocate whose relative or well-wisher is a judge in a higher court stands better chances of becoming a judge.

It has rightly been observed that there should be an entry test for advocates so that only those who are competent and without any connections can flourish in the legal profession.


Lame excuse

Come on Dhoni, attending the IPL late night parties is no excuse for giving a poor performance at World Cup. If it is true, why did these parties never adversely hit Sangakara, Jayawardene, Shane Watson, J H Kallis, S L Mallinga etc.

Dhoni, Yousuf Pathan and Raina never attended a party. Yet, why didn’t Dhoni perform like Raina who seemed to be the only oasis in the whole of Indian team? At least Sangakara’s team landed comfortably in the semis.

G. GILL, Chandigarh

Celebration of old age

The middle, “Happy birthday to me” (May 11) by Shriniwas Joshi, is a celebration of the old age. We get morbid fears of death as we approach old age. We may feel abandoned, worthless and a sense of nothingness may prevail upon us.

Childhood is the time to relish the company of friends and affection of parents. Youth is on an overdrive to fulfill our dreams and build castles. The midlife is spent in rearing children and climbing the ladder of professional success. In the run-up to the old age, one is totally oblivious of the fate one is destined to encounter.

Old age means you are retired, feeble, afflicted by debilitating diseases, worn out by emotions and commotions of a life spent in chasing a mirage. However, we should welcome old age and enjoy being free to do things we could not in the busy days before.

We should take heart in the fact that we have managed to reach old age despite all the threats that life poses. We need not feel as a spent force or done with. Instead we should look forward to another innings full of joy. If nothing else we can just lie back on the swivel chair and reminisce about the days gone by.

At least we are not short of time in old age to hum the melody, Dil dhoondata hai phir wohi fursat ke raat din…




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